Man, I update this blog infrequently. I'd like to think it's because I'm saving my posts for maximum awesomeness.
So, first thing's first: Deus Ex. Pretty much anybody who's going to read this blog knows it's one of my big passions. I've been working on Shifter for, what, almost 10 years now? Anyway, I've got a pretty good handle on Deus Ex and its code to say the least, so I finally decided to get off my duff on a project idea I had a few years ago.
As a lot of you who've played the game know, the "final" patch for Deus Ex still leaves behind a few things that are clearly bugs, even moreso in the Game of the Year edition (i.e. a patched retail copy of the game has music in the last NYC map, while the GOTY edition does not). Shifter addresses a lot of these... but then it's also Shifter on top of that; not everybody wants all the OTHER changes it brings.
With that in mind, I've started making a "Deus Ex v2.0" patch. Quite simply, this patch seeks to fix all the remaining bugs (and a few serious design flaws) that were left behind in the v1112fm and GOTY editions of the game. Now I say "I've started making", but that's only for the moment; ideally this will turn into group effort. At the very least I am openly (and persistently) soliciting input from the folks over at the migrated DXEditing forums about the progress of the patch, especially about the more unclear "design flaws" in the game. (Example: should Aggressive Defense be able to "detonate" thrown knives, darts, and even flamethrower fire? And why doesn't the "Item Received" window in conversations show you the amount of ammo you receive?) A lot of these seem pretty straightforward to me... but I may be biased. As someone else put it, this shouldn't turn into "Shifter Lite". I'm soliciting input on it though, which means YOU can help. Read the "Deus Ex v2.0" thread and weigh in on what I've laid out there.
Okay, so enough about that. On to S.T.A.L.K.E.R.
So, shocker, I like S.T.A.L.K.E.R. It took me a while to get around to playing it, but once I did I was quite hooked. I have to say, a lot of what's in the game are things I've always wanted for Shifter to do, e.g. the weight-based inventory system. Some of it is maddening too, like how weapons break and you CAN'T FIX THEM, but overall I still enjoy it. I'm working my way through the first game for a second time, this time with a mod installed. After that I need to move on to Clear Sky, and then Call of Pripyat.
The reason why I bring this up though is I've never been this hooked by any other game except Deus Ex. I've already got some mod ideas for the first game (bit late, but whatever) and I'm sure I'll have plenty for the second and third. The other thing that shocks me is that within the span of two months I've bought all three games on Steam. Usually I'm very hesitant to pick them up, waiting for a deal or a sale or something, but not this time.
So yes, sometime in the future expect some minor S.T.A.L.K.E.R. mods from me. Right now the first thing I'm going for is a system to make sure NPCs use the best weapon they have, and to allow them to scrounge for better weapons or let you give them better ones (I hate how the guys at Agropom are expected to take down two bloodsuckers with a couple of Viper 5s).